The “check engine” light in our vehicles gets a bad rap. It’s the butt of automotive jokes in movies; it seems sporadic in its on again, off again indications; it gives us no specification as to what the potential problem is; and worse, it can pop up when there’s seemingly nothing wrong with our vehicles! When it shows up on your dash, you can bet you’re in for a headache.
The check engine light may be annoying to drivers and there might not be any rhyme or reason to it from your point of view, but for automotive professionals and mechanics in Madison, TN, the check engine light is something to be taken seriously. In fact, your check engine could tell your mechanic a lot more about your vehicle than you might realize!
Breaking down the warning
Thanks to modern automotive technologies, virtually every system in our vehicles is monitored via an onboard computer. The computer takes constant measurements of critical components and gauges their values in terms of a range of acceptability—when something falls outside of this range of norms, it’s cause for alarm. And, you guessed it: when a problem is pinpointed by your vehicle’s internal computer, it’s going to give you a heads up in the form of a warning light.
Now, more often than not, problems under the hood of your vehicle are going to show up in the form of the check engine light. Right away a mechanic will know where to look—hence the name! But, as we all know, automotive engines are immensely complicated, which means mechanics in Madison, TN are going to need more depth in reporting to figure out where to start.
Luckily, the onboard computer in your vehicle can be run through a diagnostic, to pinpoint which values are causing it to trigger a warning. Through a quick battery of diagnostics, auto professionals are able to dramatically narrow down the problem based on the values returned.
Now, a diagnostic test might not always reveal a true problem in your vehicle—in fact, it most often reveals symptoms of a problem. If your check engine light is on due to a low coolant level, for example, the real problem might be with your radiator, thus causing your coolant to be low. It’s the job of mechanics in Madison, TN to go in and pair the information they get from your original check engine light trigger with what issues they’re seeing, to get to the bottom of a problem.
No engine left unchecked
Nothing in your vehicle happens out of chance—everything starts with a catalyst and has a reaction; cause and effect. When your check engine light comes on, it’s an effect—the cause has yet to be determined by your mechanic! Make sure you’re not ignoring this warning or waiting for it to cycle off in the hopes that a problem will solve itself or the effect of an unseen problem could be huge auto repair costs!